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Five Polish ministers resign

Five of the eight members of Bauc's finance team have resigned  

WARSAW, Poland -- Five deputy finance ministers have resigned in a show of solidarity after the shock dismissal of Finance Minister Jaroslaw Bauc.

The move follows a row over Bauc's alleged failure to quickly inform the government of a massive projected rise in the country's fiscal deficit next year.

Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek also suggested the government had lost confidence in the finance team after details of a proposed austerity programme were leaked to the press, said The Associated Press.

Rafal Zagorny, one of the officials to step down, told the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza: "As a co-author of the Bauc programme, it is only natural that I should resign."

But Zagorny had words of praise for Bauc's successor, former Deputy Finance Minister Halina Wasilewska-Trenkner, saying she "may be the only person in Poland who can put the (2002) budget together," AP reported.

The others ministers to resign were Dorota Safjan, Jan Wojcieszczuk, Elzbieta Hibner, and Krzysztof Ners -- who all represented the Polish government at meetings of the Monetary Policy Council.

Bauc had been under heavy pressure since early August, when finance ministry estimates leaked to the press that the 2002 budget deficit could surge to 11.6 percent of gross domestic product.

• Polish government

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